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adamlewis

Blasphemous Names

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So I was reading through Stormlight Archives for the umpteenth time, and I noticed several symmetrical names. Here are some that I noticed, please add to this list. Also, bear in mind that H can be any letter, as mentioned in WoR by Shallan to Pattern.

Ialai - Sadeas's wife

Rillir - Roshone's son

Laral - from Hearthstone

Hanavanar - King of Jah Keved

Hashal - wife of Matal, over bridgemen

Vamah - highprince of Alethkar

Tarah - Kaladin's mysterious army love

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The names using a 'H' aren't blasphemous, they use the 'H' as a way to make it symmetrical, thus a good name, but it isn't truly symmetrical, so it isn't blasphemous. Shallan talked about it with Pattern (can't remember the chapter).

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3 hours ago, kenod said:

The names using a 'H' aren't blasphemous, they use the 'H' as a way to make it symmetrical, thus a good name, but it isn't truly symmetrical, so it isn't blasphemous. Shallan talked about it with Pattern (can't remember the chapter).

It's in Ch. 47 'Feminine Wiles' p. 548 kindle edition:

Quote

"Bajerden? Nohadon? Must people have so many names?"
"One is honorific," Shallan said. His original name wasn't considered symmetrical enough. Well, I guess it wasn't really symmetrical at all, so the ardents gave him a new one centuries ago."
"But ... the new one isn't symmetrical either."
"The 'h' sound can be for any letter," Shallan said absently. "We write it as the symmetrical letter, to make the word balance, but add a diacritical mark to indicate it sounds like an h so the word is easier to say."
"That - One can't just pretend that a word is symmetrical when it isn't!"
Shallan ignored his sputtering [...]

The way I understand this passage, words with the 'h' are considered symmetrical and as such only appropriate for 'holy persons' like Nohadon; Shallan's name is ideal for a normal person in being 'almost-but-not-quite symmetrical' by virtue of being one letter of without using the 'h' device (as Kabsal explained to her: Sh <> N).

I find this list quite interesting, @adamlewis. For those characters we know personally, the blasphemous naming seems to go along with some measure of arrogance in the person. Not just coincidence, maybe: it stands to reason that the same parents who choose such names might raise their children to feel themselves superior. Not that this should make us prejudiced however... ;)

Edited by Erklitt
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8 hours ago, Erklitt said:

I find this list quite interesting, @adamlewis. For those characters we know personally, the blasphemous naming seems to go along with some measure of arrogance in the person. Not just coincidence, maybe: it stands to reason that the same parents who choose such names might raise their children to feel themselves superior. Not that this should make us prejudiced however... ;)

The book specifically mentions this about Ialai, that her parents named her that because they were raising her to be perfect. Such parenting is bound to cause arrogance.

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On 8/7/2016 at 11:30 PM, adamlewis said:

So I was reading through Stormlight Archives for the umpteenth time, and I noticed several symmetrical names. Here are some that I noticed, please add to this list. Also, bear in mind that H can be any letter, as mentioned in WoR by Shallan to Pattern.

Ialai - Sadeas's wife

Rillir - Roshone's son

Laral - from Hearthstone

Hanavanar - King of Jah Keved

Hashal - wife of Matal, over bridgemen

Vamah - highprince of Alethkar

Tarah - Kaladin's mysterious army love

I believe it's mentioned somewhere that the length of the name, as well as its symmetry is taken into consideration for determining how "divine" it is.  For example, Hanavanar is a king, so he can get away with having so long and symmetrical a name because the Almighty has obviously blessed him greatly.  Ialai, who is high ranking but not royalty, has a name that is significantly shorter, but commented on for being almost blasphemous because it's seen as her parents reaching above their station, or perhaps predicting greatness for her.  Basically, a symmetrical name isn't always blasphemous.  I could definitely see ardents being displeased with Hashal, Tarah, Laral, and Rillir though.

Not sure how Tarah even managed to get away with it, unless she was a foreigner or a lighteyes...

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5 hours ago, hwiles said:

Not sure how Tarah even managed to get away with it, unless she was a foreigner or a lighteyes...

If you take Kaladin's track record into account, then she's probably a lighteyes. He just has the worst luck.

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